Is there anything worse than "Best Albums Of" lists? Especially a personal list, and especially a personal list from an amateur (i.e. not a professional music reviewer).
But even those are pretty terrible. You might have heard me say before that music criticism is the lowest form of writing. I believe this. As in, lower than sex toy instruction booklet writing. I hate it. Why? Because most music criticism is simply a game of trying to come up with the wildest metaphor that could possibly still be thought of as describing something audible. For instance (and I'm making this up) "The Pencil Cup's new album, Erasered Our Lives Away, is filled with synth-dreamy riffs of pop ice cream cones melted over the rusted train tracks of Johnnie Eisenhower's twice distorted vocals." Bluagh! Blaugh! Blaugh! [Me vomiting.] If you've read indie music reviews, you know that's not far from the truth.
Anyway... all that is said just to properly relate to you, the reader, that I acknowledge that my opinion is worth nothing, and that the following list is merely of my favorites, and by no means implies that these were the best albums of '09. How could anyone make that claim? I could name for you ten consensus favorites of the year right now that I haven't heard (and so aren't on this list), but even if you have the time and money to listen to every noteworthy CD that comes out, the more music you listen to, the less time you have to let each album gestate. And it seems to me that the best songs of any album don't usually reveal themselves until around ten listens. I also read quite a few lists this year that were basically any ten albums from Pitchfork's Best New Music page. Great albums to be sure, and I'll admit that I found my #10 and #1 albums on that very site, but if you don't have one CD in your top 10 that's not on this list, what is the point of making the list in the first place? Just link to that page and let the people decide!
Here are my FAVORITE albums of 2009:
10. Tie - Bitte Orca by The Dirty Projectors, Vecktamist by Grizzly Bear, and Hospice by The Antlers